We are all called to bear different burdens. Sadly, many more women than you may now realize are called to walk the path, in one way or another, of a bereaved mother.
Stillbirth, Infant Death and Miscarriage, (the most common,) are real challenges. Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well.
The grief that can accompany this kind of loss can be farther reaching than most would think. Especially on life events and holiday’s such as the one we are looking forward to this weekend. Mother’s Day.
This May brings the first Mother’s Day I will experience as a bereaved mother. It’s harder to find the strength and courage to keep moving this week.
The truth is, I don’t feel as strong as I am obviously expected to be.
This May brings feelings I never imaginedI would be experiencing. What can a mother without her children expect to experience on Mother’s Day?
There’s a renewed pang of loneliness that has accompanied me these last months and become silent more often in the last months, but has found new strength in this mom-centered week.
Every Mother’s Day ad, product or giveaway I see reminds me of the little ones I’m missing. Every day something new pops up to make me wish they were here with me still. It’s the loss I’ve been living with, but come to feel less harshly as time goes by. Except for every now and then when it seems more painful again.
That loss has me longing for those little boys who would be sitting up and cutting teeth by now. I find myself walking though the grocery store looking down at the little seat in the cart I’m pushing, wishing it could be filled with my little boys instead of empty in front of me. The empty basket is like a screaming reminder of the life I could have been living. The life they could have been living with me.
Every year before this one, I found this holiday to be heart warming. A reminder to the greatest calling I could ever aspire to, and the amazing woman, and women, who showed me what being a mother meant. Last year, I was celebrating as a soon-to-be mother with my little belly already showing the little bundles I thought I would watch grow and learn. I thought they’d be the ones who’d look to me on Mother’s Day and tell me how much they love me.
Be gentle this Mother’s Day. Celebrate, of course! Congratulate and appreciate the women in your life who are amazing mothers- they deserve your affection. But also take a minute to remind those bereaved mothers you know that you remember them this week. Let them know they’re doing great too, because they would so love to be doing great with their children alive and here, but their babies are angels, and so are perfect.
I do believe there will come a time where Mother’s Day won’t sting quite so much, and again I’ll have my heart warmed by the sentiment of the holiday, but I think it will also always hold a little bit of that longing and wonder of what life I could have led. These burdens we bear are all about how we handle them after all, and believing there is good to be found in the most trying of situations is how I’m choosing to look at this trying time.
To my lovely friends who are celebrating this Mother’s Day for the first time as a Mother themselves, Happy Mother’s Day. I am so happy, and honestly more than a little bit envious of you. It can be easy to get caught up in the difficulties that your new full-time job requires of you but if you could do me only one favor I would ask that you soak it all in. Enjoy every screaming, stinking, sleepless night as well as the giggles and cuddles too. Those perfect little beings are a miracle, even though it may not always seem like it.